WHY WE NEED A STRONG CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM
My name is Wendy Warmowski. My son, Jacob, was a perfectly healthy, happy toddler. He loved running and playing with just about any toy he could get his hands on. We were looking forward to celebrating his 2nd birthday until the unimaginable happened. My son fell ill and several medical errors changed his life forever.
It was just before Christmas in 2008 when Jacob got sick. I took him to his pediatrician who diagnosed him with an ear infection. He gave us antibiotics and sent us on our way. Jacob seemed to get a little better after a few days, but when his antibiotic was nearly finished he took a turn for the worse. I called the doctor back and he prescribed a stronger antibiotic, but it didn’t seem to be working. I made several calls to the doctor and nothing they told me to do was making Jacob better. We eventually ended up in the emergency room.
When we arrived at the ER and my son was extremely ill with a fever of 104. He was vomiting, very lethargic. His body reminded me of a rag doll. The doctors described him as “extremely toxic.” He should have had immediate attention and care, but instead we waited. And as we waited I watched Jacob get sicker and sicker.
Nearly 2 hours passed before we finally saw a doctor who ordered a spinal tap to test Jacob for meningitis. Then we waited about 4 more hours before the spinal tap was performed. He was eventually diagnosed with strep pneumomeningitis. The doctors ordered antibiotics to be given immediately, but instead we waited yet again. It took nearly 10 hours from the time we arrived in the ER for Jacob to get his medications. Because my son didn’t get the medications he needed in a timely manner, he suffered a brain injury that has left him physically and mentally disabled.
Because of the delays in treatment, Jacob suffered 6 strokes, fell into a coma and had to have a tube placed down his throat to help him breath. The doctors told me my baby might not ever wake up from the coma or come off of the ventilator. I was told he may never have purposeful movement again. Jacob proved the doctors wrong. After nearly 3 months in the hospital, Jacob got to come home, but not without physical and mental disabilities.
Today, Jacob continues to have physical and mental issues. He has vision problems, balance difficulties, attention issues and epilepsy. He has to have special schooling and goes to occupational, physical and speech therapy several times a week. Our family life revolves around the care of Jacob, and it takes its toll on all of us, including Jacob’s little brother.
The civil justice system allowed our family to hold the doctors responsible for their errors and delays that resulted in Jacob’s brain injury. Our settlement allows us to give Jacob the best care he could have so that he can live the best life he can. Trust me; I’d return it all to have that happy, perfectly healthy toddler back.